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The Pulse: Feelings Towards the U.S. Census

The Pulse of the American Consumer is focused on continued insight into consumer sentiments for businesses across all industries.


The 2020 U.S. Census data was released last week, and Americans weighed in on how they feel about certain findings on the current U.S. population. They also gave insight into how they feel about current events, President Biden, and vaccine/proof of vaccination requirements.  In order for businesses to have the most success connecting with their consumers, they have to understand them – what they are interested in, what they need, and how they feel. At ENGINE, we have the real-time pulse of the consumer, today, and always. Throughout 2021, we will be offering weekly insights through identifying important data points and trends from the voice of the consumer.


KEY FINDINGS AS OF August 22, 2021:

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If you would like more information on ENGINE CARAVAN surveys, contact us below:

At ENGINE, we will be keeping up with the pulse of the consumer throughout 2021, and are regularly running our CARAVAN surveys on current social issues. Contact us at caravaninfo@enginegroup.com for more information or for the full CARAVAN survey findings.

This Online CARAVAN® omnibus surveys were conducted on January 8-10, January 15-17, January 22-24, January 29-31, February 5-7, February 12-14,  February 19-21, February 26-28, March 5-7, March 12-14, March 19-21, March 26-28, April 2-4, April 9-11, April 16-18, April 23-25, April 30-May 2, May 7-9, May 14-16, May 21-23, June 2-6, June 11-13, June 18-20, June 25-27, July 9-11, July 16-18, July 23-25, July 30-August 1,  August 6-8, August 13-15, and August 20-22,  2021.  Approximately 1,000 adults selected from opt-in panels were surveyed. The results are also weighted to U.S. Census data to be demographically representative.

Written by the CARAVAN team at ENGINE Insights.

The Pulse of the American Consumer

Consumer Insights for Business

Afghanistan, vaccine requirements, and the 2020 census data (and its potential implications) are all on the minds of Americans this week.

Gain insight on these issues and more in this week’s The Pulse of the American Consumer.

How optimistic or anxious do each of the following make you at this moment in time?

*Mean Summary

  • 0 – Extremely Anxious
    • 3.8 – The political environment in the United States
    • 4.1 – Matters specifically related to the Coronavirus
    • 4.2 – The U.S. economy
  • 5 – Neutral
    • 5.1 – Your ability to  realistically live out ‘The American Dream’
    • 5.7 – Your health and wellbeing
  • 10 – Extremely Optimistic

How concerned are you about these issues?

*Demographic differences are based on ‘Very Concerned’

  • The increase in Coronavirus cases across the U.S. due to the Delta variant
    • 84% Total Concerned
    • 59% Very Concerned
      • 38% Republicans
      • 67% Democrats
  • Recent disagreements over mask wearing in schools that have taken on what seems to be a politically motivated stance
    • 84% Total Concerned
    • 49% Very Concerned
      • 40% Republicans
      • 58% Democrats
  • Future threats of violent events in the U.S. caused by domestic terrorists
    • 84% Total Concerned
    • 46% Very Concerned
      • 44% Republicans
      • 49% Democrats
  • Potential future risk to national security as a direct result of the U.S. withdrawing remaining troops from Afghanistan
    • 79% Total Concerned
    • 40% Very Concerned
      • 52% Republicans
      • 33% Democrats
    • 78% Total Concerned
  • Potential loss of faith among U.S. allies that we can be a trusted partner in the future due to the recent developments in Afghanistan
    • 39% Very Concerned
      • 51% Republicans
      • 34% Democrats

To what extend do you agree or disagree with each of these statements?

*Demographic differences are based on ‘Total Agree’

  • It is a priority for me to vote in the 2022 midterm elections for Congress and/or Senate
    • 79% Total Agree
      • 71% Gen Z
      • 73% Millennials
      • 78% Gen X
      • 85% Baby Boomers
    • 54% Strongly Agree
  • There is no good long-term solution to the situation in Afghanistan, whether the U.S. were to leave troops there or not
    • 76% Total Agree
      • 67% Republicans
      • 84% Democrats
    • 35% Strongly Agree
  • I trust the medical community’s recommendations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine
    • 70% Total Agree
      • 78% Gen Z
      • 63% Millennials
      • 66% Gen X
      • 76% Baby Boomers
    • 33% Strongly Agree
  • Despite the current situation unfolding in Afghanistan, over the long term it is still the right decision for the U.S. to no longer have troops there
    • 69% Total Agree
      • 56% Republicans
      • 82% Democrats
    • 30% Strongly Agree
  • I would strongly consider paying to watch a new movie release at home over a streaming service (Disney+, HBO Max, Netflix, Hulu, etc.) rather than going to a movie theater
    • 68% Total Agree
      • 72% Gen Z
      • 73% Millennials
      • 70% Gen X
      • 63% Baby Boomers
    • 31% Strongly Agree
  • I am in favor of the upcoming mandate for New York City, where anyone who wishes to dine indoors, use a gym/fitness facility, or see a show will need to show proof of vaccination
    • 63% Total Agree
      • 59% Gen Z
      • 59% Millennials
      • 60% Gen X
      • 72% Baby Boomers
    • 36% Strongly Agree
  • The U.S. should consider a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing due to human rights abuses that have occurred in China
    • 62% Total Agree
      • 60% Republicans
      • 68% Democrats
    • 23% Strongly Agree
  • I would consider an all-electric (EV) vehicle for my next car/truck purchase
    • 48% Total Agree
      • 60% Gen Z
      • 57% Millennials
      • 47% Gen X
      • 38% Baby Boomers
    • 17% Strongly Agree
  • I consider virtual currency (Bitcoin, Dogecoin, etc.) ‘real currency’ that should be accepted as a standard form of payment
    • 41% Total Agree
      • 65% Gen Z
      • 51% Millennials
      • 46% Gen X
      • 24% Baby Boomers
    • 12% Strongly Agree

A Vaccine Update

91% of those who have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are likely to get a booster COVID vaccine when they are eligible, now that it has been formally recommended.

Who, if any of the following do you think should be required to receive the COVID vaccine?

    • 64% Anyone working in a medical field who interacts with patients
    • 61% Teachers/anyone who works in a school setting
    • 57% Employees who work in food production/processing facilities
    • 57% Anyone employed in a public-transportation setting (bus drivers, taxi drivers, airline pilots, train conductors, etc.)
    • 53% Active-duty personnel in the U.S. Military
    • 52% Federal employees
    • 51% State employees
    • 51% Anyone employed at a gym/fitness center/salon/spa/massage parlor

As a consumer, which if any of the following settings do you think showing proof of having received the COVID vaccine should be required?

  • 60% To be a passenger on an airplane
  • 59% To be a passenger on a cruise ship
  • 55% To attend a concert or sporting event in an indoor arena
  • 49% To dine at an indoor restaurant
  • 47% To use a gym or similar fitness center
  • 46% To attend a movie theater
  • 40% To attend an amusement park or water park
  • 36% To attend a concert, festival, or sporting event in an outdoors setting
  • 23% To dine at an outdoor restaurant

Politics and the Census

Approval ratings for President Biden continue to be low, among both registered voters and the general population:

  • Among U.S. Adults:
    • 47% Approve (Net)
    • 36% Disapprove (Net)
    • +11% Net Approval Rating
  • Among Registered Voters:
    • 50% Approve (Net)
    • 36% Disapprove (Net)
    • +14% Net Approval Rating

As you may have heard, last week the 2020 U.S. Census data was released. Among the key statistics reported include:

  • People of color represented 43% of the total U.S. population in 2020, up from 34% in 2010
  • The non-Hispanic White share of the U.S. population fell to 57% in 2020, shrinking by six percentage points since 2010, the largest decrease of any race or ethnicity
  • The share of those who identified as Hispanic/Latino or as multiracial grew the most

Knowing this, among each of these pairs of words or phrases, which comes closest to describing your feelings?

  • 77% Happy vs. 23% Angry
  • 76% Proud vs. 24% Disgusted
  • 70% Optimistic for the future vs. 30% Nostalgic for the past
  • 66% Indifferent vs. 34% Anxious

To what extent do you agree or disagree with these statements related to the Census?

  • The increasing diversity of the U.S. population is, overall, a good thing for the country
    • 79% Total Agree
    • 37% Strongly Agree
      • 17% Republicans
      • 53% Democrats
  • I am keenly interested in how the new Census is going to impact congressional redistricting in my state
    • 64% Total Agree
    • 25% Strongly Agree
      • 23% Republicans
      • 30% Democrats
  • I am concerned the new Census is going to lead to even more extreme gerrymandering in my state
    • 75% Total Agree
    • 29% Strongly Agree
      • 26% Republicans
      • 35% Democrats
  • I am concerned the new Census is going to bring even greater efforts to restrict voting rights in my state
    • 54% Total Agree
    • 22% Strongly Agree
      • 16% Republicans
      • 28% Democrats




Dig deeper with the ENGINE Insights COVID Dashboard

The ENGINE COVID-19 dashboard delivers an easy-to-use, self-serve platform providing access to all of our COVID-19 tracking data including industry specific deep-dives and online behavioral data. This tool puts ENGINE’s data in your hands to uncover meaningful insights to your specific business questions.